Charles Arthur Hartley
Date of birth: 1898
Date of death: 19.10.1918
Regiment: Northumberland Fusiliers
Family information: Son of Joseph and Edith Hartley
Service number: 50912
According to the Ancestry website Charles enlisted in Wakefield and was Private 50912 in the 19th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers. In 1918 the 19th Battalion took part in several actions including The First Battle of Bapaume and the Battle of Ypres. On the 14th October the Battle of Courtrai began and it was during this battle that I believe Charles was injured.
The Northumberland Fusiliers 19th Battalion were employed with road repairs and draining work. The war diary states that the weather was very wet and, on the 1st October, the 19th Battalion were working in Brandhoek. They moved to Sanctuary Wood, Gheluvelt on 11th where they were working on the Menin Road. On 14th the British Army in conjunction with the Belgian army launched an attack, with the Fusiliers moving forward with them to improve the roads to allow the advance. By the 17th October they were working on the Moorseele-Schoonwater Road.
Charles could have been injured during this advance as there were several casualties over this period. He died of his wounds on 19th October 1918 and is buried at the Dadizele Communal Cemetery, Belgium. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal and according to the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects his next of kin were his mother Edith and brothers George W and Albert.
From the Wakefield Express:
“PVTE CHARLES ARTHUR HARTLEY, son of Mrs Hartley of Thornes, died in France on October 19th. Whilst serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers in May past he was gassed and was afterwards transferred to the Field Ambulance. Whilst returning to billets a shell fell amongst a number of soldiers and Hartley was wounded in the left shoulder. He was twenty years of age and had been in France twelve months. Previous to enlisting he was employed as a trimmer at Lofthouse Colliery.”
His mother also put the following obituary in the Wakefield Express:
“HARTLEY – Died from wounds received in action, France, October 19. Pvte Charles Arthur Hartley of the N F F A, the dearly loved son of Mrs Hartley Thornes and the late Joseph Hartley Kirkhamgate, aged 20 years.”
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission only gives the initials for this name. A previous researcher states he was born in Stanley, County Durham – perhaps as he joined the Northumberland Fusiliers – however, I have found a Charles Arthur Hartley living with his family in The Nooking, Kirkhamgate and am inclined to think that it is probably him. He was born, according to his baptism records, in Kirkhamgate on 12th September 1898 and baptised at St Mary Magdalene Outwood on 2nd April 1899. His father Joseph was a miner. By 1911 they were still living in The Nooking and Charles now had two younger brothers, George Willie and Albert. Father Joseph was still a miner, while mother Edith was a cotton spinner. Joseph died the following year and was buried in St Paul’s, Alverthorpe churchyard.